Learning how to store winter clothes the right way can make it easier to enjoy a warm-weather wardrobe and find what you need fast.
After all, more spare room for your right-season outfits can help you avoid the dreaded bulge; And we’re not talking about the one spilling from the top of your skinny jeans.
“One of the biggest challenges I see in closets is that they’re just overflowing,” said professional organizer Jamie Novak.
Read on to learn how to store your winter clothes and create a system that will help you find items even faster than an ice cream melting during a heat wave.
Empty Your Closet
Novak suggests you give yourself a day to work on this project. Use the morning to remove everything from your closet and create three piles: keep, donate, and items that are stained or need to be tailored/repaired.
As professional organizer Heather Dancel notes, it’s always good to clean out your closet quarterly to make sure your storage system is working for the current season.
“You do need to rotate out seasonal clothing, you can’t just always keep it in there,” explained Dancel, owner of A Clear Mind Organizer.
Prepare Clothes for StorageUse the second half of the day to prepare and put clothes in your bins. Novak has some key tips before you start putting all your clothes and boots in bins for the next several months.
For boots, she recommends you stuff it with a pool noodle (made to fit to size) to help it keep its shape. This prevents creases which might make the shoe unusable later on. Or, to save more space, user heavier winter socks and scarves to stuff your boots.
Don’t forget to deodorize shoes and boots before you put them in a storage container.
“You’re really going to appreciate having taken that extra step when you open that container a few weeks or months later,” said Novak with a chuckle.
You can use a spray, or if you don’t have anything on hand, baking soda. As Novak puts it, just put baking soda into the sole, “swish it around and kick it back out, you’ll be good to go.” Always check the pockets before you store clothes.
While you might be lucky to find money, you absolutely don’t want to put away clothes if you have candy, gum or ChapStick. Those things can leak and really stain or ruin clothes, Novak explained.
“These extra steps might also help you find a pair of earrings that you tucked away in a pocket,” said Novak, author of book “Keep This Toss That.”
Keep a running list in your phone of any winter clothing that needs to be replaced. If there’s an offseason sale, you’ll know what to replace and can avoid doubling up on items you already own.
Store Clothes in Containers
When it comes to storing winter clothes, Novak suggests you use multiple containers in a variety of sizes.
“I would love it if we would categorize and group like items with like items,” she shared.
For example, Novak suggests a bin just for thermal pieces and another for heavy winter coats, or if you have a collection of turtle necks, you can place them in a separate bin.
This also helps you see how many clothing items in a specific category you own and if there’s an opportunity to pare down.
“You can pull just what you need as you need it,” Novak said. “A big mistake I see is everyone gets a big gigantic tub and puts everything in it.
Not only is it cumbersome to store or put away such a large container, but the next time you open that box you’ll just be trying to figure what you own.
Avoid overcrowding the storage tub or container because it can damage clothes. By leaving a little breathing room, you can avoid deep creases when you pull them out next winter.
Look for plastic containers with a clip-on lid that stays sealed if you are placing in a storage unit or an outdoor garage. Fabric zip pouches or containers can work for puffer jackets that can shrink down. Learn more climate controlled storage unit.
Label Boxes and Inventory
Before you close your container, snap a quick photo of the clothing items inside and tape the photo on the outside of the bin. This will give an easy visual of what’s in each bin.
In addition, you will have that information on your phone.
Consider using a label maker or name the box by number and create an excel sheet which details all your clothing items with the corresponding number.
Alternative Storage Options
If you have space at home, then Dancel suggests you utilize it. The attic, basement, or garage are all good spaces to store winter clothes. But if space is tight, then consider using a coat closet or the spare bedroom closet.
Vacuum seal things that aren’t going to be used and either put them in high to reach places of the closet or under the bed storage.
Another option is to use a spare guest bedroom closet. The goal is to get them out of the main real estate in your closet, adds Novak.
“Even if that means just boxing them and putting them at the very top shelf of your closet or on the floor,” she said. “You’ve now created all this space you can utilize. It makes your closet so much more functional for the season that’s currently happening.”
If the garage is your primary option, Dancel suggests you make sure it’s easy to access. Use a step stool if needed.
“Create a system that’s fail-proof,” she said. “So it’s like more getting seasonal decorations out every year.”
While you’re organizing your closet, follow these tips for the right storage hat trick(s) to achieve important fashion and organizing goals.
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